How local college students created their own award-winning film company

Several college students managed to turn their childhood hobby into a mixed media company, BIZZAY.

Zayn Roohi and Arslan Malik were around ten years old when they found their passion of creating short comedy videos as a way to pass time.

Roohi is the managing director and cinematographer of BIZZAY while he studies mechanical engineering at University of Alaska Fairbanks. Roohi has produced content that has debuted in film festivals around the country, and he currently works as a photographer for the University of Alaska.

Soon after Roohi and Malik began their hobby in film-making, their friend Norberto DeJesus Jr. joined in on the action.

DeJesus studies business administration at UAA and is the creative director at BIZZAY, where he is in charge of the creative process.

“My job begins in pre-production, at the drawing board, where story ideas and characters are crafted and eventually written into screenplays. When the script, locations, cast and crew members are all in place, I make sure the artistic and dramatic aspects of the story are brought to life by directing the actors,” DeJesus said.

While in high school, Roohi, Malik and DeJesus displayed their short videos in front of hundreds, where they gained the inspiration to create their very first short film.

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After the trio graduated, Roohi left for college in Fairbanks while the other members stayed in Anchorage. Despite the distance, film-making was something that brought them all back together.

BIZZAY currently consists of Roohi, Malik, DeJesus, Sebastian Baquero and Traejen Scott.

The young film-makers have produced short films including “Easy Money,” “Tragedy” and their latest short film, “Rogue Money,” which premiered in the Alaska Experience Theater with over 150 people in attendance.

While in college, BIZZAY has worked on projects with Bryson Andres and international violinist Preston Pollard who is also a professional skateboarder, motivational speaker and has done promotional work for the 49th Supply Company.

It wasn’t until recently, on Dec. 1, 2016 that BIZZAY became an officially licensed company.

With support of their executive producers, Upper One Studios, BIZZAY is currently working on a feature film for the first time, called “Chance.” “Chance” is a full 90-minute fiction film about homelessness and alcoholism in Anchorage.

BIZZAY is in the post-production phase of “Chance” and is hoping to premiere the film in the summer of 2017.